I get messages on Email/ LinkedIn/ Insta/ everywhere almost every day by people I don't know. I personally try to read and reply to all of them - because for most cases it is people either asking for help or giving feedback, and I am happy to help or learn wherever I can.

Problem is that 9 out of 10 messages I receive are too vague to reply. For a person who is running a company and getting another 10-50 messages in a variety of platforms, I - or anyone else in similar position - would want to be as efficient in those replies as possible.

No points for figuring who I replied to (hint: none)

The trick to reaching out (and getting replied) is not rocket science, but it's worth repeating, just because so few people actually follow it:

Be clear, concise and crisp.

  • Send an email that can be read within 30 seconds
  • Start with a background of you or your project
  • Ask your question and be specific of what you need

That's it!

For example, if you are looking for advice on your startup:

Give an intro about you and your project

Tell me about yourself, the problem you are trying to solve, and the traction you have received.

Be specific on the ask

e.g. if you are looking for improving your pitch deck - then attach it. This way I can take a look and reply back with pointers.

e.g. if you are looking for help in raising funds - then tell me about how much you are raising so I can connect you to the right people.

e.g. if you are looking to work with our company - then mention where you think you can add value.

Entrepreneurs are, by nature, problem solvers. If I see an email with a specific ask my mind immediately goes into problem solving mode and almost by nature I have to reply. If it's vague - then I have to work to get the ask from you. It's easier for me not to reply.

So next time you want to message anyone: be specific about why you are messaging them. It's going to save you time, save the receiver time, and you are more likely to get a reply.